Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricanes and comfort food

What do you do when a hurricane is barreling down on you?

If you are like most of people, you went out and stocked up on water, milk, and batteries. You maybe even filled up your bathtub and sinks so you could use the water to flush your toilets in case you lose power.

Okay, I was unaware of the tub water for toilet idea until my mom told me that trick the other day. Brilliant!

But I have to admit that I did not go out and purchase loads of water or extra batteries or even fill up my tub. Instead, I decided to look at this as a day to celebrate and look for comforts.

I woke up later than normal, but that was probably due to the long drive I made back from New Jersey through the heavy rain ahead of the hurricane. Once I was awake I decided a good breakfast was in order. Blueberry pancakes!

I rarely eat pancakes, french toast, or waffles, but this morning I had a craving for comfort food. I drove to Bedford, NH to one of my old favorite restaurants and had two fresh blueberry pancakes and a side of crispy bacon. I admit that I couldn't eat the whole thing, but it was certainly worth a shot and my stomach was very happy I did.

Once my stomach had been fed, I ran a few errands in the rain. Always fun to run around looking like a drowned rat. One of the things I did was pick up the supplies for homemade soup. Yup, you read that correctly. There is nothing more comforting than homemade food on a bad weather day. Today, I am making a soup my father used to make for us. I'm making Bean and Ham soup.

Bean & Ham Soup Recipe:

Soak a bag of Great Northern Beans in a pan of water overnight (or soak them in heated water for several hours) until soft.

Drain the beans and fill a crockpot or big pan with water and put the beans back in.

Spice up the beans with some minced onion and garlic sea salt. Go easy on the salt because you will get plenty of salt from the ham.

Add in a ham on the bone. It's important to cook the ham on the bone in the water to get extra flavor. (No, you cannot use a honey-baked ham.)

Let this cook all day until you see the meat from the ham bone start floating around in the soup mix.

Pull the ham bone out and cut all the meat off and toss back in the soup mix. Throw the ham bone away or give to your favorite dog as a special treat.

Then let cook for another hour or so. The key is that the soup will start to thicken and the beans will be semi-mushy.

Now you're ready for some homecooked bean and ham soup.

Add a little cornbread on the side and you have all the comforts you need for a warm meal to ride out the storm.

While that's cooking all day, do what I do. . .write, write, write or read, read, read!


Emma Leigh August 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM  

Yum!! Looks delicious. I'm with you -- comfort food and writing. What better way to spend the day!

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